The new leader of the Labour party Sir Keir Starmer has appointed a shadow cabinet that has never voted pro-life on abortion.
An analysis of 16 votes going back 13 years to 2007 shows that none of 29 MPs handed roles in the shadow cabinet today have voted pro-life on abortion.
A deeper analysis of the results further highlights how out-of-touch the newly formed opposition are with the general public on abortion.
Polling shows that 93% of women support a law banning sex-selective abortion in the UK. However, out of the 15 shadow cabinet MPs who were eligible to vote on banning sex-selective abortion in the UK 11 voted against and 4 abstained.
Similarly, the polling shows that 91% of women in the UK would support a bill that gave women considering abortion a legal right to independent counselling from a source that has no financial interest in her decision. Yet, when the opportunity to support such a change in law arose eleven voted against, 2 abstained and none voted in favour.
In the UK, only 1% of the population support legislation allowing abortion for any reason up to birth. However, the majority of MPs in Labour’s shadow cabinet threw their support behind a 2017 Bill calling for such a change. The Bill introduced by pro-abortion Labour MP Diana Johnson was supported by 16 MPs, with 9 abstaining and none voting against the Bill.
On assisted suicide there is a much more positive picture, with the 29 MPs sharing a mixed voting record. Out of the 23 shadow cabinet MPs eligible to vote when assisted suicide was roundly defeated, in 2015, 11 voted against its introduction while only 6 voted for and a further 6 abstained.
Despite his poor record on life issues, Sir Keir Starmer won the contest to lead the Labour party on Saturday with fifty-six percent of the vote.
His election comes after Jeremy Corbyn announced he would step down as Labour leader shortly after losing a fourth general election in a row last year.
The now former Labour leader had pledged to introduce abortion, for any reason, up to birth, but ultimately the party suffered their worst electoral defeat since 1935.
Unfortunately, it seems neither Sir Keir Starmer or his shadow cabinet are any different.
Since becoming an MP in 2015, he has voted in support of imposing an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland and in favour of assisted suicide.
Ahead of the election, Sir Keir Starmer signed a pledge from the UK’s largest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, to support a change in law that would introduce abortion for any reason up to birth – the only Labour leadership candidate to have done so.
Speaking of his new appointments Sir Keir Starmer said: “I’m proud to have appointed a shadow cabinet that showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.
“This is a new team that will be relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.”
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“The new shadow cabinet continues to show how out of touch the Labour party are with the general public and women on the issue of abortion.
“Last year, Right To Life UK’s analysis of the 2019 election revealed that the number of pro-life MPs has increased while the pro-abortion lobby has lost a large number of MPs. In the Republic of Ireland all fifteen politicians who voted against legalising abortion kept their seats in the country’s general election while many of the country’s strident pro-abortion members lost their seats.
“With that in mind we were disappointed to see the Labour Party elect yet another leader who takes an extreme pro-abortion position when it comes to voting on abortion in Parliament and remain disappointed to see this is also the case with the shadow cabinet.
However, we are also hopeful that what appears to be the Labour Party moving back to an overall more centrist position will make it easier for Labour MPs who are pro-life to maintain their position as Labour MPs. Momentum-led local party associations have put an enormous amount of negative pressure on some Labour Party MPs that have taken a pro-life position on life issues. With the election of a non-Momentum candidate as leader, we are hoping that this will signal a slowdown of these extreme elements in the party and that the party will be more open to a variety of views on life issues among its MPs.”
|MP||Role within cabinet||Voting Record|
|Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition||Leader of the Opposition||See voting record|
|Angela Rayner||Deputy Leader and Chair of the Labour Party||See voting record|
|Anneliese Dodds||Shadow Chancellor||See voting record|
|Lisa Nandy||Shadow Foreign Secretary||See voting record|
|Nick Thomas-Symonds||Shadow Home Secretary||See voting record|
|Rachel Reeves||Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster||See voting record|
|David Lammy||Shadow Justice Secretary||See voting record|
|John Healey||Shadow Defence Secretary||See voting record|
|Ed Miliband||Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Secretary||See voting record|
|Emily Thornberry||Shadow International Trade Secretary||See voting record|
|Jonathan Reynolds||Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary||See voting record|
|Jonathan Ashworth||Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care||See voting record|
|Rebecca Long-Bailey||Shadow Education Secretary||See voting record|
|Jo Stevens||Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary||See voting record|
|Bridget Phillipson||Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury||See voting record|
|Luke Pollard||Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary||See voting record|
|Steve Reed||Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary||See voting record|
|Thangam Debbonaire||Shadow Housing Secretary||See voting record|
|Jim McMahon||Shadow Transport Secretary||See voting record|
|Preet Kaur Gill||Shadow International Development Secretary||See voting record|
|Louise Haigh||Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary (interim)||See voting record|
|Ian Murray||Shadow Scotland Secretary||See voting record|
|Nia Griffith||Shadow Wales Secretary||See voting record|
|Marsha de Cordova||Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary||See voting record|
|Andy McDonald||Shadow Employment Rights and Protections Secretary||See voting record|
|Rosena Allin-Khan||Shadow Minister for Mental Health||See voting record|
|Cat Smith||Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement||See voting record|
|Lord Falconer||Shadow Attorney General||--|
|Valerie Vaz||Shadow Leader of the House||See voting record|
|Nick Brown||Opposition Chief Whip||See voting record|
|Baroness Smith||Shadow Leader of the Lords||--|
|Lord McAvoy||Lords’ Opposition Chief Whip||--|